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Old Mar 2, 2006, 5:26 PM   #1
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Hi all! I took these photos in 2002, some very remote shepherds (with their sheep, goats anda couple of donkey) way up in the Transylvanian mountains.

I was on a hike with a group of boys (a camp organised by the charity I work with) - and we stopped at these shepherds and bought some goat& sheep cheese, which we ate with our pasta for that evening's meal!

The first photo shows the two men who looked after the sheep, and the 2nd photo their sons respectively.

Let me know your comments on the photos... they have special memories to me, but I'd like to know if they have any photographic appeal to any of you.

Paul
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 5:28 PM   #2
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and here is that photo of their sons (the boy closest to the camera made those decorations on his hat himself).

Paul
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 11:41 PM   #3
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Both pictures are "pose" type of pics. The second one seems too set up to me. I like the first one though very much. It is clear they were posing for the camera, but still the pic reveals a lot of the whole atmosphere of the environmnet. Nice shot.
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 2:02 AM   #4
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Well maybe they look like pose photos to you, Thraser, and I can understand you thinking that! But the interesting thing about it is, that these photos were not posed at all!! Actually all four of these people were standing like that (almost statue like) as they watched us (a group of about 15 teenage boys and 5 leaders) decend into their little part of the world (way up in the mountains).

They kept staring at us (I guess wondering: "What do these city slickers want?" and I walked up to them, and just took the photos the way they were standing (I was one of the front guys in the group). I guess they realised I was a foreigner (maybe my hair colour.. blond and my clothes). But they just stared at us... And after that one of my colleagues asked if we could buy some cheese from them. (They were happy to sell some cheese without taking it to market!)

That's why I liked these photos... coz it sort of captures in my mind how some of these folk live up in the mountains, and they lean on their shepherd sticks for most of the day (the vicious sheep dogs guard the sheep from wolves / bears and keep them from wandering astray!). And as the shepherds lean on their sticks they think the thoughts that shepherds do I guess!! They seem quitequiet people to me! You can also sort of see in the "2 sons" photo, the boy closer to the camera is also leaning on his "shepherd stick" (the other boy in the background, by the way, had a mental disability, or should I say was psychologically challenged- one can maybe sort of see that / guess that).

Still.. I appreciate your look and your comment, Thraser. Just wanted to clarify that!

Glad you like the photos, yes it's quite a pristine environment up there!

Paul
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 7:16 AM   #5
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Hey, take those shots while you can, because you can't guarantee the sons will take over the job.

Nice to see some people still have a good lifestyle in this era of globalization.
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 1:02 PM   #6
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[email protected] wrote:
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Hey, take those shots while you can, because you can't guarantee the sons will take over the job.

Nice to see some people still have a good lifestyle in this era of globalization.
Hope that look on the faces of the first two was temporary. Egad. That expression does not reflect job satisfaction.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 12:03 AM   #7
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Hi Terry and KennethD!

Yeah, there are some parts of Romanian culture / lifestyle which are changing rapidly now, though seeing such shepherds / subsistance farmers one realises their way of life is very removed from computers and so on.

About the "job satisfaction" (or not!) look, sure, he has a stern frown (maybe to scare off the bears or wolves that got past his dogs!) :roll:

But his face lightened up a bit when we bought some cheese from him. Below is photo of him weighing the (sheep) cheese on his primative scales.

Paul
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 1:22 AM   #8
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I guess you've never been to Eastern Europe before. That is just the way we are (I am from Slovakia myself). We seem to look more serious to strangers and we don't feel the urge to pose smiling in every single picture. But believe me, these shepherds have sense of humor too, they just need to be in a different position, preferably drinking something (I would guess) :-). I believe they're quite happy guys, a lot more happy then us living in the modern western society.


KENNETHD wrote:
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[email protected] wrote:
Quote:
Hey, take those shots while you can, because you can't guarantee the sons will take over the job.

Nice to see some people still have a good lifestyle in this era of globalization.
Hope that look on the faces of the first two was temporary. Egad. That expression does not reflect job satisfaction.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 3:08 AM   #9
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It may well be just a reflex reaction to strangers. I hate to admit it, but even I get a bit disgruntled mixing with unfamiliar folks, unexpectedly. The idea of buying cheese must have been a friendly ice breaker. Most likely kindled a more friendly exchange than the first expression implies.

Kd
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 10:31 AM   #10
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Hi Thraser and KennethD!

Thanks for both your comments. I would have to agree there is in general more "camera smile" in folk from some countries than others. Although I'm from Australia originally, but now I've been involved and working with Eastern Europeans for over 10 years I can say it's true that people here (I live in Romania) do have the more "serious" look.

Quite often people who visit for the first time say: "Everyone does look a bit sad". I wouldn't say it's sad, though understandable for the first time visitor/s. However yes, maybefactors like culture, history, even climate and advertising have an effect on such things. Many people are happy in Romania indeed! Though there are those on both sides who think the grass is greener on the other side!

As I work with alcoholics (charity work I do in Romania, with all local people as colleagues) I can assure you yes, it's very likely these shepherds get involved in a little (or not so "little") unwinding with the help of some drink and "loosen up" then. I've seen it all too often!! ...

Well, hope you enjoyed the photos and discussion. Thanks again for your thoughts.

Paul
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